Thursday, June 27, 2013

almost a year with my girl

i can't believe that lucy's birthday is right around the corner.  and that i have been raising a baby for almost a year now; what a journey it has been. as you become a parent, you are learning all the time, every moment, about yourself and your baby and what it means to be her mother. when you are a mom you make most of the decisions. everyone asks you questions about what is best for your baby, can she eat this? is this safe for her to play with? do you want her crawling there? why is she crying?  even dad turns to you sometimes, although he can make a lot of decisions too of course, or you discuss together briefly. but always, always, relying on your instincts, trusting yourself and your baby, and trying to be smart and act like you know because, ummm, you're the mom. and although it can be challenging, it is also incredibly fun and endearing and mind expanding. it is pure pure love and it makes me wiser and stronger and more alive. 

lucinda violet is eleven months old right now and so full of personality and fun. people have to come visit her all the time because she is irresistible; she makes every day bright.
i don't usually write updates about my baby but i should! i love reading others. so here goes....
at eleven months....

she is still not walking but she is busy, busy, busy. crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything and trying to climb higher, moving along as quickly and efficiently as she sees fit. she is learning how to put things together. she likes to put on lids, stack her rings, open and close things, pretend to talk on the phone, drop smaller toys into cups, play peekaboo, be thrown into the air, and have her hands and toes nibbled hungrily. she is generous with her high pitched screeching giggle these days and it makes everyone else laugh too.

we are still not exactly sure what to call her eye color; i guess it is hazel. she has her daddy's eyes with a little of my roundness and i think they will stay this strange bewitching gray-green-brown color.

she loves mail, even junk mail, but especially when it is a special and lovely package for her! (THANKS HEIDI!)

lucy loves her new dress, not to mention the adorable card and rick rack.

lucy is a total water baby. .she loves to be in all sorts of water, from her bath to the pool to the river. doesn't care how cold it is, and is learning to kick her little legs to move around. 

nature baby! being outdoors is her absolute favorite, especially with beloved family and friends. we spontaneously joined up with joey and emily on their camping trip to fallen leaf lake and when we arrived at our beautiful wild sunflower-strewn meadow, i think lucy thought she'd died and gone to heaven.

joey taught her to identify jeffrey pines by their delicious butterscotch smell.

she loves to EAT! she is really into feeding herself these days, mostly with her hands but she'll attempt the spoon or fork with gusto. favorite foods include avocado, cheese, eggs cooked in coconut oil (thanks tera for this great idea!) mangoes, tomatoes, watermelon, and blueberries. she likes to hold a chunk of bread and gnaw on it, same with fruits like a plum or peach, although she spits out the skin. she much prefers to eat that way rather than pick up chopped up bits; we tell her "take tiny bites," and she stares at us and chomps very carefully and deliberately. she loves to bite food with her six perfect teeth.

here she is on the day she turned eleven months, which was also the same day as her great grandma's funeral. she was a very good girl at a solemn church occasion although i certainly had to wonder how so many mamas take their babies to long church services on a regular basis. we took a lot of walks through the hallways. she ate a lot of potato salad. she also totally hit it off with some of the other babies that were there. she squeals with delight and "talks" in her high pitched screamy "cute" voice when she sees other kids and babies, it's her way of communicating. she does it to all kinds of strangers at the grocery store too, and once she has their attention she delivers the hugest brightest smile you've ever seen. it makes people's day.

always inquisitive and curious, ever since she was a tiny newborn. she loves books, turning through the pages with the greatest of care, looking at everything displayed there even if it is just a bunch of words. in fact she likes mommy's books best of all. she also loves bird watching, playing the drums, dancing to any and all music she hears immediately upon hearing it, and giving enthusiastic topes (forehead bumps) to everyone she loves. and sometimes complete strangers. 

in the last month or so she has become somewhat of a mama's girl, especially when she's tired. although it makes my heart soar that she loves me so, i encourage a lot of good daddy bonding time and he helps get her to sleep a lot by taking walks or rocking her back and forth in the ergo. she loves him a lot too and they have a blast together, but it can turn into trouble if she sees me lurking and she is fussy. at night she sleeps between us and she likes to have a hand on each of us. we are considering starting the transition into her own crib...any tips? she has never slept there. but she needs her own space and moves around a lot at night now. 

and one last thing: she now sleeps through the night!!! more on that later, but i will just say last night she slept from 8:40 pm to 8:00 a.m. without waking besides a little tossing and turning.

hope you didn't mind baby-overload. i cannot express how much i love this little person and how much joy she brings not only to me and darin, but to the whole world. i truly feel like this act of love, raising a child, has brought the most brilliant light into life. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

well this summer's been good from the start

Over the weekend temperatures crept steadily well above 100 degrees, topping off around 106, unseasonable for June (but we're back to our 70-80 degree days already.) Meanwhile Saturday's only goal was to stay cool so we headed up to the lake with a big group of friends. It was full but we parked across the way and walked in for free to this shady spot, spread out blankets and snacks, and played with babies for hours.

sylvan adores lucy. he asked if he could hold her and they sat and shared some strawberries.

i got to see my good friend mary, who owns mama earth farm with her husband ben. i haven't seen her since the birth of her second son, alder, who is now six months old! crazy how time flies and how newborns turn into plump bouncy smiley curious big bundles with so much personality all their own.

it is oddly satisfying to hold two babies at once. rebecca played with alder and aesop, two bouncing giggly bundles of PURE BABY HEAVEN.

although a few of our friends do have daughters, lucy is often the only girl in the group. she doesn't mind.

mary's four year old Yarrow is a fearless adventurer! He loves the water and knows all about the local plants.

mamas and their babes: mary with yarrow and alder, rebecca with sylvan, me with lucinda, and elsie with zillion and aesop.

and a photo with doniella! the token non-mama friend who is so nice to have around to help keep your head on straight and hold a baby for a while. and just be normal ;)

being in and around the water and friends all day makes for a very happy little girl. 

we capped off the summer day with an evening at marcos cafe in lotus. i have written about my favorite riverside venue before; it always feels like pure summer to hang out there.

i was worried that lucy might have a rough time since her nap got cut short, but she was in rare form. give her live music, an outdoor venue, and a bunch of friends and she is guaranteed to shine. the girl is a social butterfly indeed! 

we came to see our friends play music and we were truly entertained. justin's crazy jangly hip hop in bling wraith, then daniel's loopy electro pop in pregnant  ... lucy was groovin.

playing with jorden.

we made a tiny friend.

 all in all, a perfect day.

the only way to end a day like that: sleep naked with a fan on. 

well summer's off with a bang. long lingering sunlight, water and cherries and fans and picnics and popsicles. i'm in heaven.

Monday, June 10, 2013

faretheewell grandma georgie

and i know she will fare well indeed. my sweet grandma georgie passed away on thursday. we were able to have a nice conversation the night before, and she seemed reflective and quiet and meditative. lucy touched her hair and smiled at her a lot (she's always loved granmda faces) and i got to hold her hands to warm her up and talk to her a little bit about family odds and ends. she was not in pain, and she died the next day in her sleep.

grandma georgie was 101 years old. born in central california in 1912, she spent all her years in this valley.

here she is with her mother-in-law, my great grandmother mathilde from honduras.

and with her husband, my grandfather Carlos "Buck" Beatty who passed away in the 60s. I never met him but everyone, EVERYONE raves about what a wonderful person he was. georgia never remarried after his death, and has been waiting for this moment to see him again, as well as two of her sons who have already passed on.

my grandparents years later after they'd had five kids.

addie and i with grandma in the early 90s.

grandma meeting lucy, thanksgiving 2012. i am so grateful she got to have her last thanksgiving and christmas here in my home.

in a week all the beattys will converge again to celebrate her glorious life and spirit.
it has been nice to share little bits about her here over the years. i will miss her. i am writing her obituary so i'll spend the next few days getting my facts straight and taking a journey into her endless memories and stories; what a treat.